The Basic Human Store Cupboard Staples – Connection, Belief & Responsibility
By Simone Callaghan, Business & Community Connector, Director, Mentor, Mother
The Essential Human Ingredients
When we want to make changes in our life there is so much that can seem so important. Where do we even start? If we know change is needed but we’re feeling swamped, overwhelmed, not sure if we’re up to it, then how do we ever get off the starting blocks? What’s the first thing we can do to start building solid foundations to the other stuff. It has to start somewhere, right? AND we are all unique – every single one of us needs something different, our own personal recipe, our own techniques, our own personal wins along the way to spur us on AND yet I’ve narrowed down the base ingredients.
It’s a bit like cooking – bear with me! Let’s take flour, water and salt. You can make a basic dough recipe for the base of lots of cuisines – pizza, bread, pancakes, dumplings, add a few other ingredients and not only do you end up with a variety of those foods, you can also extended further into a whole array of other worldly culinary delights: donuts, pasta, cakes…. you get the general idea!
You’ve got all the building blocks to all this mouth-watering fayre from just a few basic store cupboard staples. The fancy, more complicated stuff won’t work without it. So, what am I getting at and what’s this got to do with you I hear you ask? Well lots actually! We are all complex beings and yet real change often starts with a few fundamentals. The human ingredients – in my human store cupboard are:
– you’ll likely have your own level of basic ingredients to get the mix just right. It may take a bit of trial and error, experimenting with your recipe depending on what you are trying to create in your life. After all what works for a perfect pizza dough is all wrong for pancake mix. Keep revisiting and reviewing your personal recipe and be willing to make changes along the way to get it right. Using a varying degree of these base ingredients in my own life has served me well and I encourage my clients and programme participants to do the same and to keep going back. When things feel a little off check in on your base ingredients, what needs another smidge adding, what needs a firmer kneed or a splash of intention/ or attention? Keep working the recipe till it starts working for you.
My Story – the Lowest Point
Back in 2000, I found myself alone, heartbroken and feeling utterly helpless. I was in a woman’s refuge with nothing more than the clothes on my back and my most important gift to date my beautiful baby boy. I’ve heard that saying a lot ‘nothing more than the clothes on my back’ and I never expected the words to become my personal mantra whilst navigating the next few years of chaos. I had no idea where to go from here or what to do next to dig myself out of the hole I found us currently kicked into. My boy didn’t even have a single toy left to play with. Whilst I looked down at him with not a care in his mind and not understanding the complexity of our situation (thankfully) he just shone pure love and his beautiful sparkly eyes shone up at me with a huge grin on his face and I knew there and then, in that very moment I had what I needed inside to rise out of this despair. I understood that if I sat and wallowed in my misery it would serve no purpose and would be of huge detriment to us both. I felt a little spark ignite and knew I had inside me all that was needed inside me to rise out of this situation. I didn’t really have a plan and yet I knew I was going to make good happen out of our situation. So, I pulled up my big girl pants and I took control. Maybe for me the first ingredient was belief – I absolutely trusted in that moment that I had it inside me to change my circumstances. Or maybe it was responsibility – I knew if anyone was going to create the change I needed, it was going to have to be ME and I made a decision to step up.
God there was Sooooo much anger, shame, and sadness AND yet I knew sitting in it was going to keep me firmly stuck. I made a choice; I wasn’t going to be a victim of circumstance I was going to own this place I was in, in my life and do absolutely everything I could to improve it. Connection probably came next – initially it was a connection to myself – my inner knowing, a connection to my whole being that was screaming at me that I had got this, and I could get out of the current situation – not even that I could but that 100% that I absolutely bloody would! Not a single doubt!!!
Getting My Ingredients Together
You see how interlinked it all was for me? A single spark of belief fired up the responsibility button and then a good dose of connection to go alongside to create what needed to happen next.
Connection to create change came with more than just inner connection to myself it came with the responsibility to create additional connections. When my trust bank was on the floor, I had to take responsibility to trust again, even after everything I’d been through, I still needed the help and support of others and I needed to ask for it. It came with the responsibility of getting up every morning and sitting on the phone, standing outside offices, and going off on many tangents, false leads and wild goose chases. It came with a huge sprinkling of frustration and confusion AND yet I took responsibility to keep chasing, to keep making enquiries, to mither and badger and cajole. It came with the steadfast belief that with enough action eventually I would get the answers I needed, or find the right people who could help me – housing, social workers, police, benefits officers, DA services, refuge staff, health visitors, GPs, banks, insurance companies, utility providers, childcare providers, work colleagues, friends, family,– the list was pretty endless to navigate and negotiate continuously for months on end a huge webbed tangle of a potential support network sprouting off in every direction.
Eventually I began to close some loopholes and create the connections I needed going forward. No matter how I felt or what level of trauma I woke up in that day, I made sure I took full responsibility for tending to my son’s needs, finding something joyful in the day for us both – even if it was a library visit or a walk in the park (we did a lot of those) AND I rang the housing office EVERY SINGLE DAY! The refuge we were in felt unsafe and I knew was costing the Council a small fortune to house us in, so I set off on a one-woman mission to find something else. I searched property listings, chatted to current tenants, hounded housing officials. I put in all the paperwork, filled out all the forms, answered all the questions, met all the workers. My support network grew, and my friends, family and new agency assistance rallied until soon we had clothes again, toys, a pram, toiletries (although we never did go back to a cot – my boy slept in a big grown-up bed from being 18 months and never went back) …. The list began to grow, and I started to see the light again. I slowly found myself smiling, then laughing, then cherishing the small wins and those ‘wins’ just kept on growing until a few months later I got a phonecall and we were offered a home. My constant mithering had paid off.
There was a property, the area wasn’t great, it needed a bit doing and if I said yes, I needed to do it today! I tapped in again to that belief that it may be a rough estate and yet this felt like a good next step. It felt like progress. I could make this work and I trusted that I had what I needed inside to make it a special home for me and my boy. I could do the jobs and tap into my network of support to help me with the rest. I didn’t have to do it alone. It was the next step, and I managed my expectations, disregarded the negatives and I said YES anyway. It turned out to be the first really big step in getting my life back on track not just on the same old tracks but on a massively improved and upgraded set of tracks. I tapped into my belief, responsibility and connection and I created a different story for myself. One where I was the leading lady and where Belief, Responsibility and Connection were the strong foundations to building the life I was reaching for and ready to create. I’d started in the basement, and I was now most definitely working my way up from the ground floor.
I’m a big believer in visioning and manifesting the life I want AND I back that up with ‘the work’ and ‘the action’. In my world mindset is everything and when I have control over that because I’ve put in ‘the work’ then I have everything I need to create ‘the action’ and make some of those dreams become a reality. I can help them develop and grow from my vision boards and affirmations into firm elements of my life story.
What do you need or want to change and how can you use the power of Belief, Responsibility and Connection to get you there? I’m really interested in hearing your ideas, please do share them with me. You can find me on twitter https://twitter.com/SimoneGoodnessC and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/simone-callaghan/